Australian Museum Journal Australian flaked stone tools: a technological perspective

Shortform:
Flenniken and White, 1985, Rec. Aust. Mus. 36(3): 131–151
Author(s):
Flenniken, J. Jeffrey; White, J. Peter
Year published:
1985
Title:
Australian flaked stone tools: a technological perspective
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
36
Issue:
3
Start page:
131
End page:
151
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.36.1985.342
Language:
English
Date published:
19 April 1985
Cover date:
19 April 1985
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ANTHROPOLOGY; ABORIGINES: AUSTRALIAN; ARCHAEOLOGY
Digitized:
14 May 2009
Available online:
16 July 2009
Reference number:
342
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (142kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (6980kb PDF)

Abstract

Australian flaked stone technologies are examined from a flintknapper's perspective. We identify six different flaking techniques in the archaeological collections, but only a single reduction sequence. The five stages of this sequence are described in detail and it is demonstrated that Australian technologies are highly opportunistic. We examine major classes of Australian flaked stone artefacts—adzes, backed artefacts, burins, points, "scrapers", "utilized flakes"—from a technological perspective. We conclude that most morphological variation within these broad classes is not the result of deliberate design. We also note that "backing" is simply the application of already-known bipolar technology to small flakes, and that more precise use-wear studies are needed to determine that "scrapers" and "utilized flakes" were actually used as tools.

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